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J.L. Long Students Learn about Eminent Domain

Ms. Shawn Busari on behalf of the community members against eminent domain visits the students of J.L. Long Middle School  to teach students about the concept of Eminent Domain.  Students learn about the horrible reality of Eminent Domain and about the residents of East Dallas, their hopes, fears and aspirations and how they can be helped.    
 As local highways are expanded and the properties near the downtown area are seized for parking lots and lofts, “eminent domain” is an issue which some of the students were unaware of but are now vitally interested.    Ms. Busari explains how Property rights and ownership have lead into the current DISD controversy over eminent domain and how anyone can become a victim of  this nightmare called Eminent Domain.

The discussion about conflict of government action and private property was very passionate. The students begin to see that today’s headlines are tomorrow’s history and that they can learn from the past to affect their own futures. They welcomed a dose of reality.

Ms. Busari expanded the conversation and asks what the students would do if it happened to them, who would they contact, who are their local and state representatives that they could contact? She tried to demonstrate how one person can sometimes change things in politics.   She also asks "Would you want the government to lower the value of your property and then use its power to take it only to build parking lots where your home once stood?"  The students were outraged knowing that a government entity can threat and force the sale of land or property that otherwise would not be for sale.

Ms. Busari closed her speech by referring back to how our concept of government is based upon the idea that we are all granted the natural rights of "life, liberty and property"  and reminded them that if we  allow the government to abuse our property rights "How secure is our liberty or even our lives?"


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